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Farmsteading, Upper Millsteads

A Category C Listed Building in Canonbie, Dumfries and Galloway

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Latitude: 55.1221 / 55°7'19"N

Longitude: -2.9064 / 2°54'22"W

OS Eastings: 342294

OS Northings: 581228

OS Grid: NY422812

Mapcode National: GBR 8946.LP

Mapcode Global: WH7YY.BJ86

Plus Code: 9C7V43CV+RF

Entry Name: Farmsteading, Upper Millsteads

Listing Name: Uppermillsteads Farm Steading with Farmhouse and Well

Listing Date: 28 November 2003

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 397153

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49580

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Canonbie

County: Dumfries and Galloway

Electoral Ward: Annandale East and Eskdale

Parish: Canonbie

Traditional County: Dumfriesshire

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Circa 1855 with late 19th century additions and earlier range to E (see Notes). U-plan, piend-roofed, improvement farm-steading comprising central 2-storey threshing barn with slit windows, and flanking single storey wings containing stables, byres and former boiler house with raised slated vents to roof ridge; earlier buildings adjoining at right-angles to E; farmhouse, well and later cartshed to S; later byre to SE. Squared sandstone with tooled ashlar dressings. Graded grey slate.

U-PLAN STEADING RANGES: 2-storey barn in long centre range, with large sliding timber-boarded door to right; slit windows to both floors; door to left with flanking square windows and square door to hayloft above. Rear (N) elevation with slit windows, winnowing door and 3 small later square windows to right; late 19th century extension to left. W wing formerly contained loose boxes: 4 doors and wider opening to right; former boiler house to left with coped ashlar ridge stack above. Various windows to rear (W), some later. E wing, formerly byre: irregular arrangement of doors and windows to W. Rear (E) elevation with slit windows and central timber-boarded door. INTERIOR: threshing room with flagged floor and 1916 threshing machine; some loose boxes and feeding troughs remain in W wing.

E RANGE: long single storey range composed of earlier adjoining buildings, stepped downhill. 6 timber boarded doors, some later. Former farmhouse to left with chimney stack; cow byre to centre with Victorian timber partitions and feed troughs; pigsty to right.

FARMHOUSE: single storey and attic, 3-bay, L-plan cottage with advanced bay in re-entrant angle (heightened 1913). Broad M-gable to S and deep bargboarded eaves. Main entrance to S with later door, stop-chamfered ashlar architrave, and border-glazed fanlight; late 19th century timber porch. Regular fenestration to M-gables, irregular fenestration elsewhere. Corniced wallhead stacks. Graded grey slate. Non-traditional uPVC windows replacing timber sash and case windows. INTERIOR: staircase with mahogany rail; timber shutters in sitting room; plain cornices to principal rooms.

WELL: Victorian lining wall; circa 2000 drystone parapet with flat coping.

CARTSHED: later 19th century. 4-bay piend-roofed cartshed with 3 monolithic red sandstone columns dividing bays.

BYRE: later 19th century. Ruinous gabled byre, partially roofed (2003).

Statement of Interest

The principal focus of this listing is on the farm steading, including the range of older buildings to the east. The farm used to belong to the Buccleuch estate, and was built as part of a programme of agricultural improvements in the mid nineteenth century. The U-plan ranges form a good example of an improvement hill farm, and are distinguished by being relatively little-altered. The main alteration seems to have been the eastwards extension of the threshing barn, which originally only joined the east wing at the corner. The remains of the old horse mill for the original threshing machine is visible as a slight hump on the ground to the north of the threshing barn, and a hole at the bottom of the wall, to the left of the winnowing door, marks where the machinery went into the building. The horse mill was probably not very substantial, as it does not show up on either the 1st or 2nd edition OS maps. The current owner (2003) went over the ground with a metal detector to search for remains of its machinery, but found nothing. Remains of machinery from a later tractor or engine-driven threshing mill still hang from the wall to the left of the winnowing door.

Before the mid nineteenth century improvements, Upper Millsteads is believed to have been a hill outpost for Lower Millsteads farm. The range to the East of the steading were the buildings for this farm, and the building at the left (W) end of this range is believed to be the original farmhouse. Over Millsteads and Nether Millsteads are marked on William Crawford?s 1804 ?Map of Dumfriesshire?.

The farmhouse is very similar to other farm cottages in the area on the Buccleuch estate, and the plan, which is relatively deep, corresponds to the plan of Buccleuch farm cottages near Drumlanrig. The farm and steading may have been built from a design by the Dumfries architect, Walter Newall, who was the architect to the Buccleuch estate (although no direct evidence has been found to link him with Upper Millsteads). The North wing of the house has been heightened slightly, probably in the late nineteenth century at the same time that the cart shed to the East of the house was built. The brick extension in the re-entrant angle was done in 1913.

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